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Terms Which Have Disappeared

Espee

Practically Family
Messages
548
Location
southern California
I'm going to plead Forum-Searching Ineptitude here. I think we had (and maybe I started) an examination of "I have a T. L. for you..." (1940s) and now years have passed and I can't find it for review.
I forgot all about it until last week when I heard Molly McGee say it to Fibber.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
30,607
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
"trade-last," a second-hand comment about someone that you offer to trade them in exchange for a comment they've heard about you. The idea of it being a "trade last" is that you don't tell them the comment until you've gotten yours in exchange. It's a nineteenth century thing that was vestigal in the early twentieth century.

There's also a Yiddish explanation for "TL" that's unsuitable for the Lounge. The "T" in this explanation stands for "Toches," or backside.
 

Espee

Practically Family
Messages
548
Location
southern California
The compliment-related meaning might have been very much diluted by 3/9/1948, when Fibber realizes the leg of the card table is broken and that he'll have to try to call Doc Gamble before he leaves his house (on his way over to play checkers.) So Doc can bring his own card table...
Molly says, "I've got a T.L. for you, Dearie... that IS Doctor Gamble's card table." Fibber had a habit of borrowing things, permanently.
It's like the sarcastic use of "a news flash" or "breaking news."
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,663
Location
My mother's basement
^^^^^^

To riff on that ...

It's been some time since I've heard anyone use "tight" to mean "drunk." It was a common usage within my memory.

"Tight" meaning "stingy" is still heard quite a bit.
 

LizzieMaine

Bartender
Messages
30,607
Location
Where The Tourists Meet The Sea
"Papa come home late last night
Mama said, 'Pop, you're tight'
When he tried to find the light
He faw down and go boom!
Papa, he begin to sing
Mama said, 'Bad old thing'
Then she took a great big swing
He faw down and go boom!"

-- song made popular by Eddie Cantor, 1929
 

Stearmen

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,202
^^^^^^

To riff on that ...

It's been some time since I've heard anyone use "tight" to mean "drunk." It was a common usage within my memory.

"Tight" meaning "stingy" is still heard quite a bit.

These days, tight means cool, as in, that song is tight! Tighten Up, used to be slang for a Promiscuous young lady, as in, she needs to tighten up, or she'll get in trouble!
 

MisterCairo

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,902
Location
Gads Hill, Ontario
^^^^^^

To riff on that ...

It's been some time since I've heard anyone use "tight" to mean "drunk." It was a common usage within my memory.

"Tight" meaning "stingy" is still heard quite a bit.

There's a line in an episode of Jeeves and Wooster along the lines "He's not crazy, he's just tight as an owl!" (i.e. drunk).
 

tonyb

I'll Lock Up
Messages
9,663
Location
My mother's basement
... Tighten Up, used to be slang for a Promiscuous young lady, as in, she needs to tighten up, or she'll get in trouble!

I can see how that usage came about. It's easy enough to, um, sense it, although it wasn't until now that it occurred to me. In that context (as well as others), it means essentially the opposite of "loose."
 

The Good

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,363
Location
California, USA
You don't really hear variations of "What the devil," or "What in blazes" anymore, to express astonishment, agitation, or disbelief. I can only guess they're very infrequently used or next to non-existant now, well after the 1960s have ended. I've heard some of those phrases on the original Star Trek, most memorably by DeForest Kelley as Dr. McCoy. I think I've come across those in other TV shows or films from that era, as well.
 
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